Show we embrace multiracialism through our actions

It is good that much has been written and spoken about the paramount importance of multiracialism so that we can collectively defend our nation against terror, extremism and other threats.

By and large, Singaporeans are for multiracialism, and strongly believe that everybody should be equal regardless of their race, religion and language.

They are also cognisant of the importance of interacting with and knowing people of other races, especially in the neighbourhood.

But being aware of the benefits of multiracialism is not enough; we must also turn such awareness into action.

I wonder how many of us greet one another with best wishes during our respective festivals - Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali or Christmas.

Exchanging greetings and celebrating such occasions together will show that everyone has a place in one another's festivals, and help cement ties among the various races and unite our people.

A couple of days ago, while in the lift, I noticed my Indian neighbour's pre-school daughter proudly holding a paper lantern.

When I remarked that the lantern was small but cute, her mother replied that her daughter made it in school, where they celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival.

It is good that our schools have been fostering multiracialism and instilling a sense of inclusiveness in students through activities like this.

Hence, if we really desire to embrace multiracialism, we must make a point of knowing and interacting more with one another, in particular with neighbours.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2017, with the headline 'Show we embrace multiracialism through our actions'. Print Edition | Subscribe